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How Decorations Help with Anxiety

January 19, 2022 TJ DeSalvo

I remember when I was in college, I had to stop into one of my roommate’s friend's rooms across the hall. When I opened the door, I felt uncomfortable – not because of anything they said or did, but because of what I saw. The room was bare – I don’t remember seeing anything on the wall, shelves, anything. I remember thinking to myself, how could anyone live in a place like this? After that, I went back to my room and just sat for a while, enjoying my familiar environment. It was the first time I realized what I need in terms of that environment – namely, lots of decorations everywhere. I have found that decorations help with anxiety.

What Decorations I Have

Maybe this is obvious, but decorations are basically extensions of yourself projected via objects. Decorations can be anything – many people wouldn’t consider, say, books or video games to be decorations, but that’s what I consider them to be. They’re things I like, they project my personality, and they brighten up a room. Really, for decorations, that’s most of what I look for.

I also have what would be considered more traditional decorations. Most of what I have are posters and action figures – in fact, I have more posters and action figures than I have shelf and wall space. This is mostly to ensure that wherever I may be living at the time, I won’t be short on anything to decorate the space. I’ve also made some custom decorations using more unconventional items, my favorite being a corkboard near my TV that I have filled with a number of my concert tickets.

What I Like About Decorations

Having decorations everywhere makes me feel a lot more like I’m “at home.” In order to feel comfortable, I need to feel like I’m in a secure environment, because most of the time I don’t feel that way. I’ve felt that insecurity for most of my life. I’ve never thought deeply about why that is, and I’m certain that there must be many reasons for that, but part of it is that I’ve always felt that what I enjoy is so far removed from what other people enjoy. When I find someone with similar hobbies, I feel excited because it happens so infrequently.

Because it happens so infrequently, I feel I need to surround myself with what I like because if I didn't, I would always feel lonely. I know things are not a substitute for people and I’m not suggesting they are – what I am suggesting is that for some people (myself included) it’s necessary to go those extra steps because we need that comfort that much more than the average person.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2022, January 19). How Decorations Help with Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, May 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2022/1/how-decorations-help-with-anxiety



Author: TJ DeSalvo

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Jane
January, 20 2022 at 6:51 pm

I found your blog interesting and grew up with a mother who suffered from severe anxiety and filled every space of the home with objects. She was a "collector" of many things. While I felt more anxiety over the clutter, I do find as I've gotten older that I am doing the same thing, but I am actually feeling more anxiety again over the clutter it is causing.
I agree familiar objects, especially things that remind me of the "good" part of childhood, do bring comfort and joy to me now.
Another way I cope with my anxiety is by matching clothes. I have done this since childhood. Everything has to have matching colors..and I really like bright color. It just make me feel better.
Thank you for sharing.

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